by Joel Rich
Here’s a theme seen in some authorities on voting:
שו”ת עשה לך רב חלק ב סימן סג
אבל, אם יודע האדם במסתרי לבו שבחירה זאת שהולך לבחור אינה טובה לתקנת הקהל, ומצביע הוא כך משום שבקשוהו לעשות
כן, וכל – שכן אם הבטיחו לו טובות הנאה (אגב, פרט זה יעויין היטב בשו”ת חתם – סופר חלק חו”מ סי’ ק”ס) תמורת הצבעתו, הרי שהצבעה זאת אינה לשם שמים, ואם יצביע כך חל עליו חרם.
If one thinks that he’s voting against the community’s best interest because he’s been asked to or been promised favors, his vote is not for shem shamayim and he should be in cherem.
Applications to Israel and US elections?
A shiur discussed the question of a ben ch”ul who observes one day yom tov when in aretz, flying back to ch”ul on yom tov sheini. My follow up: With regard to the question of somebody from ch”ul keeping one day and flying on the second day, a good follow up discussion might be ignoring a rabbi‘s position on keeping two days and then asking him what you should do if you fly on the second day.
ul> Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-From The Rabbi’s Desk – Hosting a Geirus Candidate for a Yom Tov Meal Can you invite a conversion candidate for a meal on yom tov? There are a number of workarounds for inviting non-jews based on not cooking extra for them but these won’t necessarily apply in our case. In practice poskim provide other workarounds. R Asher Weiss (in an unpublished tshuva) says that when there are so many workarounds to the original gzeira, it shows that it wasn’t ironclad but rather designed to be implemented based on the likely concerns. Since we don’t have the same concerns today (people make a lot more food and in advance) the gzeira isn’t applied (but we’re not saying we’re uprooting it, but we are (me))???
Rabbi Josh Kahn-Tikkun Leil Hoshana Rabba – Why Do We Stay Up Learning? There are a number of reasons given for learning on hoshana raba.
The key message of sukkot leading into shmini atzeret is going from the universalism of sukkot for all nations into the particularism of our relation with HKBH. Each Jew has a portion in the Torah.
Six Shifts in the “History” of Torah, by Rav Moshe Taragin Paradigm shifts in Jewish history: Breishit (Torah as blueprint), Churban (oral law), Shlulchan aruch and Kabala/Zohar.
Rav Asher Weiss-בענין זמן מצות פריה ורביה Why don’t men have to marry at 13? Talmud torah doesn’t override other mitzvot but it can override zrizin. Marriage (for pru urvu) is duraita but masruha lchachamim (it was left to chazal) to set the age.
Gil Student-Bereishis: Artificial Intelligence and the Challenge of Earning a Living Etzev for childbirth is temporary, etzavon for work is for a lifetime. AI won’t change this, work will be different (great example from actuaries!)
Rabbi Shay Schachter-Reciting Havdalah After Shabbos & The Bracha of Meorei Ha’aish Are women chayav in havdala on a duraita or drabanan basis? Is havdala a birchat hanehenin or shevach? Applications discussed.
Ari Wasserman,Rabbi Yitzchok Berkowitz,Dr. Debbie Akerman,Dr. David Lieberman,Rabbi Berel Wein-10/22/22 – Shiur 391 – Do we need to be a shmata when dealing with difficult people? How to identify and deal with difficult people (change them and/or yourself)
Most interesting assertions: 1 Everybody could use a twelve-step program 2 Wives should tell husband everything but husbands need to choose what to tell their wives.
Rabbi Michael Taubes-Parshas Bereishis What’s the Correct Nusach HaBerachah on Shabbos: “VeYanuchu Vah,” “VeYanuchu Vo,” or “VeYanuchu Vam”? Why do we refer to Shabbat in the amidot as bo, ba and bam? Perhaps we should just do it? (but some partial explanations provided).
בכן תן פחדך – The Unusual Additions to the Third Berakha on Yamim Noraim, by Rav Yitzchak Etshalom There were different practices for adding uvchein ten pachdcha etc. – some said it all ten days similar to hamelech hakadosh,others for just rosh hashana/yom kippur (days of malchiyot).
It’s written in a chiastic form paralleling the weekday amida.
Rabbi Yona Reiss-Contemporary Halacha: Beis Din and Arkaos Introduction to the prohibition of going to archaot (secular courts) including: non-judicial functions, and criminal cases and custody. Parties cannot agree to waive bet din authority but they can agree to follow local customs in certain circumstances.
Rabbi Netanel Wiederblank-What Makes Us Human? Tzelem Elokim and Humanoids What is tzelem elokim? (what defines a human?) Approaches include: unique soul, free will, creative will, altruism (meitiv), handling complexity…. They’re all reflections of HKBH. Science can’t answer the definition question.
Rabbi Steven Pruzansky-David and Batsheva, Part 2 Rest of David/Batsheva story. Maybe King David didn’t “technically” sin but there was a chilul hashem caused by arrogance and spiritual exuberance. He did teach us about tshuva.
Rabbi Yisroel Kaminetsky-Rav Lopiansky Yesodai Hatorah: Braishis HKBH “changed his mind” about creating the world purely through din (nature) to allow for rachamim (his intervention) and about creating adam and chava separately to show that the marital unit is the basic unit. There was no ki tov after Adam’s creation because it wasn’t final (next steps are up to us). Admitting to sin without excuses is important, as is a healthy diet.
<a href=https://www.yutorah.org/lectures/lecture.cfm/1046566/yair-lichtman/sefer-tehillim-portraits-of-a-religious-persona-1/”> Yair Lichtman-Sefer Tehillim: Portraits of a Religious Persona #1 First in a series on Tehillim. Presents various opinions on: who wrote them (all David vs others), who is it for (individual writer, tzibbur, nations); and why were they written? (divine inspiration, liturgy, transmitting religious values).
Lessons from Kohelet | A Succot Shiur | Rabbi Jonathan Sacks Sukkot and Kohelet are related in messaging – simcha is in the moment, our existence is arai. Don’t fear mortality or try to defeat it, just do the ratzon hashem in the moment.
Rabbi Zev Smith-Mikvah on Shabbattitle Mikveh, even for men, is very important but maybe there are issues on Shabbat of schita and mtakein? A number of specifics and practices discussed. CLOR
Rabbi Shimshon Nadel-Science in the Service of Halacha: Rav Tendler & Torah U’Madda R Tendler seamlessly blended Torah and madda viewing science as being in service of torah.
Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer-New Series! Introduction to Sha’arei Yosher, part 1 First in a series on sharei yosher by R Simon Shkop. HKBH created the world so he could be a meitiv (giver). He exists outside of time. How can we imitato dei if we are physical and HKBH isn’t? TBC
Rabbi Doniel Osher Kleinman-Parshat Behar/Bechukotai: Hilchos Ribbis – Guaranteeing A Loan If Reuven borrows money from a bank at interest and Shimon cosigns, it may be considered as if Reuven borrowed at interest from Shimon! Various arrangements analyzed under this generic category.
Rabbi Doniel Osher Kleinman-Asarah B’Tevet: Practical Halachot You May Not Be Aware Of When the 10th of Tevet falls on Friday, when does the fast end? Practically at the “earliest” tzeit (50 minutes in NY) so as not to fast on Shabbat. Can you have coffee then? Get a haircut on Friday?
Rabbi Doniel Osher Kleinman-Parshat Va’eira – What’s Wrong With The Seventh Inning Mincha? If tzoeh or an oved kochavin stands between minyan members, it invalidates the minyan but you may daven byichidut. In general, one shouldn’t daven in a place used for pritzut (even if not being used then). How do you balance trade-offs (eg maariv with a minyan at a pro football game vs. home bychidut) (me-siyum hashas at the garden?)
Rabbi Michael Rosensweig-Hashkafa Shiur – Avos Perek Beis: Making Choices Schar mitzva vhefseda – life is all about choice and understanding the true reward function!
Rabbi Shraga Kallus-Why Should I Learn Halacha? Halacha isn’t about kula or chumra but rather about clarity.
Rabbi Yoni Mandelstam-A Halachik Conversation about Looking the Other Way Nowadays we must not give up anyone.
Rabbi Hanoch Teller ,Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz ,Rabbi Eytan Feiner-Guide For the Vexed: Hadracha and Guideposts for the Process of Dating R Lebowitz uses a moneyball approach to shidduchim – look for undervalued assets (eg flexibility, roll with punches …) R Feiner recommends having a rebbi to “clarify” issues (for a lifetime, for all issues)
Rabbi Doniel Osher Kleinman-Parshas Bereishis: What’s Wrong With The New Plag Mincha-Ma’ariv Minyanim Plag mincha/maariv minyanim should be avoided if possible since they will lead to tartei dsatrei and is against minhag yisrael and who knows when plag is anyway) Spanning mincha/maariv minyanim work, at least according to some opinions.
Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz-Ten Minute Halacha – Turning to the Right A number of applications of the concept that we always turn towards the right (but sometimes it’s unclear which right we turn towards)
Rabbi Yitzchak Breitowitz-The Mitzvah of Birkat Hamazon – Part 1 History and meaning of birchat hamazon. Also discussed – birchat hatora, smichat geula ltfila and non-meal foods eaten during the meal.
Rabbi Dr. Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkoff-Responsa Oct 23 Judaism is unlike other religions in that is supersedes national identity. Judaism has a great approach to “family relations”. Rabbi Rakeffet has some strong political opinions
The zoku slush cup apparently made slushies from its supercooled walls with some human stirring. Can you use it on Shabbat? Depends on if icemaking is an issue of schita or molid. Many are stringent
Please direct any informal comments to [email protected].